Equipment Report

Recent news from suppliers to the construction and demolition recycling industry.

Photo courtesy of Liebherr

Liebherr reveals results of greenhouse gas study

Consulting firm Frontier Economics, on behalf of equipment manufacturer Liebherr Group, has shared the results of a life cycle assessment analysis related to greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of construction machines equipped with various drive technologies. The study was conducted to determine how much carbon dioxide (CO2) arises from production to operation through to the recycling of the machines.

The aim of the analysis, Liebherr says, was to comprehensively calculate the emissions of the machines and their drives to recognize and assess how greenhouse gas emissions can be most effectively reduced. The overall life cycle of the machines was analyzed, from the mining and transport of the raw materials to production and the actual operation of the machine to the disposal and recycling.

“Emissions analyses are generally limited to the operating phase,” says Stephen Albrecht, member of the board of directors of Liebherr International AG. “This is not enough for our products because greenhouse gas emissions also occur in the upstream and downstream phases of construction machines’ life cycles. To get a complete picture, we examined all stages of the life cycle, including the production of energy and provision of the infrastructure.”

Results of the analyses are then combined in a product carbon footprint report, which describes the emissions of a product throughout its entire life cycle.

The study examined three types of construction machines: mobile cranes, truck mixers and wheel loaders. The three types require different drive technologies to reduce as much GHG as possible due to their different performance requirements, Liebherr says.

For truck mixers, electric drives make the biggest contribution to emissions reductions provided they use 100 percent renewable electricity for charging.

For mobile cranes, operation with hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) shows the biggest savings potential, though Liebherr says it is important to ensure that the HVO is certified to be produced from plant and food waste and does not contain palm oil. Hydrogen made from CO2-neutral sources follows in second place. In the long term, operation with hydrogen seems optimal as the availability of HVO in the vast quantities required cannot yet be predicted, according to Liebherr. However, until the required hydrogen infrastructure and drive technologies are mature, HVO delivers the best results as an interim technology, particularly in existing fleets with combustion engines.

Wheel loaders should be operated either with a battery-electric drive charged with renewable electricity or with e-fuels.

“The results of the life cycle analysis show that there is no uniform solution for climate-neutral drives of construction machines,” says Albrecht.

Liebherr relies on a technology-neutral approach to reduce emissions as much as possible, depending on the machine and the application.

Liebherr says its product portfolio, with 13 product segments, illustrates what leads the company to compare various drive technologies. The smallest machines have a power output of 30 kilowatts, and the largest have a power output of more than 3,000 kilowatts. All the machines must perform reliably in different conditions in diverse applications.

“A wheel loader on an urban construction site, for example, is exposed to different conditions than a mobile crane used in the construction of wind turbines,” says Albrecht. “The former can often be powered by electricity. In contrast, infrastructure projects in rural areas often lack the necessary power supply for an electrical connection. In addition, more energy is often required than can be provided with a battery-operated electric drive.”

Based on the results of the life cycle analysis, Liebherr says it is in favor of adopting a technology-neutral approach in the transformation of the construction industry.

“Effective climate targets and incentives for the construction machinery sector must enable technological diversity so that the most environmentally friendly technology can be used depending on the performance requirements,” says Albrecht.

Liebherr says battery-electric should not be viewed as a universal solution but as one important technology in the future drive mix. The company also says it is important to monitor the topic of hydrogen and advocates for establishing regulatory conditions for producing hydrogen and e-fuels made using renewable sources. 

Ledwell joins Stellar distributor network

Photo courtesy of Ledwell

Ledwell, Texarkana, Texas, has announced it is now a part of the distribution network for Stellar Industries, a Garner, Iowa-based manufacturer of mechanic trucks and cranes, tire service trucks, hook lifts, roll-off cable hoists, trailers and service truck and van accessories.

“We’re incredibly excited to join the Stellar distributor network and can’t wait to show our customers the superior lineup of Stellar mechanics trucks, service cranes and service truck accessories,” says Lesley Ledwell, president of Ledwell. “Stellar’s industry-leading mechanic trucks fit nicely with the quality truck bodies and trailers we currently manufacture for our customers.”

Ledwell offers the full line of Stellar TMAX Mechanic Trucks and Telescopic Service Cranes. In addition to mechanic truck and crane products, Ledwell carries Stellar’s complete line of work truck accessory products, which include toolbox systems, air compressors and power units.

“Ledwell’s mission of providing top-quality equipment that is efficient, reliable and customized to the customer’s needs is directly in line with our own here at Stellar,” Stellar Vice President of Marketing and Sales Tim Davison says. “We’re thrilled that Ledwell has chosen to add our products to their offerings and are excited about the opportunity to bring Stellar to customers in the Texarkana area.”

Volvo Group selects chief financial officer for Mack Trucks, Volvo North America

Photo courtesy of Volvo Group

The Volvo Group, Gothenburg, Sweden, has named Gary McCartney senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO) for Volvo Trucks North America and Mack Trucks, both based in Greensboro, North Carolina. His appointment was effective in March, and he continues to be based in Greensboro.

McCartney succeeds Ken Trolle, who was named executive vice president and CFO for VE Commercial Vehicles, the Volvo and Eicher Motors joint venture.  

According to Volvo, since 2014, McCartney served as global CFO and senior vice president of finance for Volvo Financial Services (VFS).

Before serving in these roles, he spent four years as CFO for VFS Americas, three years as president of VFS Canada and more than six years as CFO for VFS Canada, Volvo notes in a news release about McCartney’s promotion.

Before joining the Volvo Group in 2001, McCartney served as a controller for Dell Financial Services and an auditor for Arthur Andersen. 


Caterpillar to relocate corporate headquarters

Caterpillar Inc. has announced it will move its global headquarters to its existing office in Irving, Texas, from its current location in Deerfield, Illinois.

“We believe it’s in the best strategic interest of the company to make this move, which supports Caterpillar’s strategy for profitable growth as we help our customers build a better, more sustainable world,” says Cat Chairman and CEO Jim Umpleby.

In 1910, then California-based Caterpillar opened a manufacturing plant in East Peoria, Illinois. The company made that city it's corporate home until 2017. That year, Caterpillar announced the move of its executive offices to suburban Chicago.

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